By Simon Vozick-Levinson
February 16, 2010 at 03:50 PM EST

One face you won’t spot in the all-star “We Are the World” remake that premiered on Friday night is Jay-Z’s. Turns out, there’s a reason he didn’t want to participate. “I know everybody is gonna take this wrong: ‘We Are the World,’ I love it, and I understand the point and think it’s great,” Jay told MTV News in Dallas this weekend. “But I think ‘We Are the World’ is like ‘Thriller’ to me. I don’t ever wanna see it touched.” He went on: “I know the plight and everything that’s going on in Haiti. I applaud the efforts…but ‘We are the World’ is untouchable like ‘Thriller’ is untouchable. Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it’s gonna be untouchable.” Instead, Jay-Z suggested that it might have been a better idea to record an entirely new song for Haiti relief — like, for instance, “Stranded,” the tune he performed last month at the Hope for Haiti Now telethon with Rihanna, Bono, and the Edge.

Do you think Jay-Z has a point here? Was the original “We Are the World” so timeless that any attempt to remake it would inevitably pale by comparison? Did Jay use the word “untouchable” enough in that quotation? Sound off in the comments, below.

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More from’s Music Mix:

“We Are the World” remake debuts during Olympics opening ceremony: What did you think?

Tonight’s “We Are the World” update: Watch footage from inside the recording

John Mayer is very sorry about his explicit sexual and racial comments; do you believe him?

Janelle Monae walks a funky ‘Tightrope’ with Big Boi

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